Posted 4th December 2015
There’s been a rush in new vegetarian openings recently. I haven’t tried them all (yet) but this hike in popularity has got me excited. This review is on a diamond in the rough hidden in the depths of the bearpit, Flow.
Our anniversary a couple of weeks ago was good enough cause for celebration (11 years). We bribed a friend to babysit and headed out for the evening. Whilst an underpass may not seem like the most welcoming of locations for an anniversary meal, Flow had the perfect vibe we were looking for.
Natural wood furniture, a mix of tables and bars with stools, intimate low lighting. Coat stands at the door meant the tables were uncluttered with the exception candles dotted around.
A glance around the restaurant showed supplies of seasonal squash stacked up next to the kitchen, bottles of rosehip cordial and sloe gin brewing above the door. Simple artwork on the wall and the bright lights of an open kitchen along the back wall.
The menu was mainly small plates, with a few larger portions to choose from. We opted for the small plates. What better way to make the most of so many exciting flavours on the menu?
Star of the show for both of us was grilled halloumi in a rich thyme and tomato sauce. This was so good that we were inspired to try and replicate the dish ourselves at home. The tomato sauce was so rich, so packed with flavour – I could have lapped it up with a spoon.
The other highlight for me was the curried carrot and cashew nut tartine. Carrot and cashew is a wonderful combination I first came across at Acorn a Kitchen in Bath. The sweetness of the carrot is a brilliant balance for the salty nuttiness of the cashews. More crudely put, it follows similar principles to peanut butter and jam.
At Flow, the tartine was divine. Crunchy and just the right amount of spice to cut through the sweetness of the carrot and cashew pâté.
We also enjoyed the arancini, deep fried risotto balls. Filling and satisfying – a brilliant comfort food for a cold November evening. Finally, we soaked it all up with bread from East Bristol Bakery and olives, and a bottle of the house white.
Service was wonderful, so friendly with lots of recommendations no a genuine interest in how we’d heard of Flow and why we had come. Prices were reasonable. A bottle of house white was just £11 and the bill including drinks, food and a dessert came to less than £40.
A beautiful meal and fantastic showcase of vegetarian cooking. It’s refreshing to eat refined veggie fare in the city centre. Great food in a relaxed and intimate setting. Flow has most definitely joined Cafe Maitreya Social as one of Bristol must-try vegetarian restaurants.
Flow, 9a, The Haymarket Walk, Bristol, BS1 3LN